The last two nights, I’ve had dreams about my partner cheating on me. I wake up in the morning with a giant pit in my stomach, the kind that comes from a dream that just literally makes you sick. And when you wake up, in those few precious seconds before reality hits, you wonder — was that a dream or real life?
I am constantly telling my partner to leave me, that I don’t deserve him. That he deserves a loving and able partner he can go and do things with. And he keeps not leaving!
I understand the feelings of unworthiness. I understand the guilt we may carry believing we are a burden to our loved ones. I know many of us feel like no one could ever love us with all our illnesses and baggage.
I know what it’s like to have loved ones slowly disappear (or make abrupt exits) from my life because my health is “too much.”
I know what it’s like to sit at home, day after day, just waiting for the phone to ring or a text to bing.
And the whole time — feeling alone. Feeling unlovable. Feeling unworthy.
And then we have this person, who we love, telling us that they love us, too.
But how could they love us? How could they choose us, when there are so many “unbroken” fish in the sea?
I asked my partner to describe me in three words and not one of the words was “sick” or “broken.”
I’ve come to the point where I realize that love, true, unconditional love, the kind we all deserve, does not see disabilities or illnesses. It sees the person we are underneath all of the illnesses and the hospital trips and the doctor appointments.
But we may not believe that. We may not believe we would be even worthy of such love.
So we push people away.
“This life sucks. I don’t want to put anyone else through it.” I bet some variation of that thought has crossed your mind.
Sylvia Plath, in “The Bell Jar,” wrote, “And the danger is that in this move toward new horizons and far directions, that I may lose what I have now, and not find anything except loneliness.”
Chronic and mental illness are lonely diseases. And if you have a partner who has weathered the storm for you, who holds your candle of hope when it’s just a whisper so the wind doesn’t blow it out — appreciate it. Take it. Love him/her back, with all that you have.
After all, you don’t throw out that 96 pack of Crayola just because some of the crayons are broken. I mean, it’s the 96 pack of Crayola with the sharpener in the back.
Broken crayons still color; they still love.
We are all worthy of love, no matter how “broken” you think you are.